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Xiaomi unveils the Mi 5 smartphone at MWC 2016

By James Lu - on 24 Feb 2016, 6:00pm

Xiaomi unveils the Mi 5 at MWC 2016

At MWC 2016 today, Xiaomi Vice President, Hugo Barra, introduced the company's latest flagship smartphone, the Mi5. The 5.15-inch smartphone has a Full HD display and a metal frame with a 3D ceramic or glass design (more on that below). It's also the first Xiaomi phone with a physical home button/fingerprint scanner on the front. The phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and has a 3,000 mAh battery.

The display is particularly noteworthy as it boasts 16 low-power LEDs behind the screen, resulting in a massive 600 nits maximum brightness. Like the Mi 4, the Mi 5 will also include Xiaomi's Sunlight brightness hardware, which boosts contrast under bright light to make the display easier to see.

On the back of the phone there's a 16-megapixel camera with a Sony IMX298 sensor that shoots 4K video. It's also the first smartphone with 4-axis optical image stabilization, which means it will compensate for pitch and yaw (like other smartphones with 2-axis OIS do) as well as side to side and up and down movement. On the front, there’s a 4-megapixel shooter for selfies, but the sensor has a pretty large photosites to capture more light than most others.

The phone boasts a similar to design to last year's Mi Note with a metal frame and a 3D curved rear. Three versions will be available, the Mi 5 Pro and two versions of the standard model. The Pro model will come with a ceramic material rear, which Barra claims is much tougher than glass (8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, compared to 5.5 for glass). Both of the standard models come with a glass rear. All three models apparently weigh the same, coming in at just 129g, which makes the new phone 14g lighter than the iPhone 6s. Three colors will be available: Black, White, and Gold.

The Mi 5 will be the first phone available to buy with Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 820 processor. According to Barra, the new processor is "100 percent faster than the Snapdragon 810 and the GPU is 40 percent faster but consumes 50 percent less battery life."

The Mi 5 runs Xiaomi's MIUI 7 interface on top of Android 6.0 Marshmallow. It's also the first phone to ship with Xiaomi's Mi Video Calling app, a new cross platform video chat app that includes live video effects and multitasking modes.

The phone will be launching in China on 1st March and will be priced as follows:-

  • 2,699RMB (~S$580) for the high-end Pro model with ceramic rear, 128GB storage and 4GB RAM
  • 2299RMB (~S$494) for the mid-range option with a glass rear, 64GB storage, and 4GB RAM
  • 1,999RMB (~S$429) for the entry-level version with 32GB storage, 3GB RAM and a slightly slower processor

No word yet on Singapore availability and price.

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